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Steel and Oak serves up patio plan for New West brewery

Proposal heads to public hearing on May 31
Steel & Oak Brewing Co. is hoping to expand its seating from 50 to 100, including turning their temporary pandemic patio into a permanent one. Photo: Jennifer Gauthier

A plan to expand seating at Steel & Oak Brewing Company is heading to public hearing on Monday.

The New West-based craft brewery has applied for a zoning bylaw text amendment in order to increase the number of people allowed in its lounge from 50 to 100. It’s also applied to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch for a “manufacturing facility structural change” for its space at 1319 Third Ave.

Council will consider the application at a public hearing on Monday, May 31 at 6 p.m.

A staff report to council stated the brewery is proposing to make some interior alterations to increase the size of its lounge, including converting and reconfiguring a portion of its existing cold storage area. It’s also proposing to make the temporary on-street patio that it created in response to COVID more permanent.

James Garbutt, co-owner of the brewery, said Steel & Oak wants to give more people an opportunity to enjoy the brewery and to have a better experience when they’re there. In a letter to the city, he said the brewery wants to bring its manufacturing levels back up to pre-COVID-19 volumes.

“We plan to increase the size of our tasting room to provide more inside seating and space for social distancing. We also want to add an additional bathroom to better serve our customers,” he wrote. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve lost 40% of our revenue due to restaurant and bar closures. Because of this lost revenue we’ve seen the need to shift how we sell our products. We feel the best way to make this transition, and recoup our lost business, is by selling more produces on premise at our tasting room in New Westminster.”

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